Christian Perseverance

             Christian, what waits for you? Our goal should be endurance—endure to the end and find your reward. Our own Malcom George has successfully and admirably completed 71 wonderful years of service to God, church, and to the mission laid upon him. What an incredible example! In the New Testament, the Apostle John is perhaps the only one who served as many years on this earth.

             The Apostle Paul displayed the importance of looking forward to the sacred rewards which will be given to God’s special servants. In II Timothy 4:6-8 he wrote, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”

Paul recognized and appreciated what should be the reality of every Christian life—being poured out as a drink offering. Paul was blessed with the opportunity to look back on his past and say “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Paul was also blessed to look forward and say, “henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness.” Finally, Paul knew that the Lord would be the one who gives the greatest reward. He said, “the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day.”

Many of God’s servants are not blessed with 70 years on this earth. Very few saints are blessed with seven decades of faithful ministry. All God’s servants, however, must persevere to the end (Rev 2:10).             

Thankfully, none of God’s servants are alone. Instead, God is at work among us. In Philippians 1:6 Paul taught his readers how he perservered when he wrote, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Paul began that verse with a word (πεποιθὼς) which means “to be persuaded.” The Latin translation, therefore, began with the word “confidens” from which we get the English word confidence. Christians can be confident in Christ as the one who gives the reward and the one who brings them to the reward. What a blessing to have this confidence! What a blessing it will be to enjoy that reward!

 

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